GIFTS FROM THE HEART is available for purchase at the UCCS Bookstore, at Hooked on Books and the Friends Bookstore at the East Library.
I had a chance today to remember an old friend and colleague, Lou Gonzales.
The occasion was the release of a new book “Gifts from the Heart – Stories, Memories & Chronicles of Lucilile Gonzales Oller.”
It was published by the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs .where Lou attended night classes as a nontraditional student 20 years ago.
The book is a look at the woman in all her incarnations through her own words.
UCCS English professor emeritus Alexander Blackburn pulled together a wonderful collection of her columns and stories, plus some things she wrote for him in night classes she took starting around 1989.
Here’s a photo of three key collaborators on the book, Toni Knapp, Alexander Blackburn and Inés Dölz-Blackburn.
The photo was taken Wednesday by The Gazette’s Linda Navarro at the luncheon honoring the Unstoppable Women, winners of the Karen Possehl Women’s Endowment Scholarships at UCCS.
On hand for the book release was Lou’s sister, Bonnie Gonzales.
Here is a photo of Lou as a child in Colorado Springs. It’s included in the book:
Lou was a reporter/columnist for The Gazette from 1994 through 2002. She was a nontraditional journalist.
That just means she came to the newsroom as a middle-age woman, unlike those of us who started writing immediately after college as snot-nosed, know-it-all kids in our early 20s.
In every other way, Lou was an old-school journalist. She was a great writer. Had great news judgment. An eye for detail and compassion for common people and their troubles.
Lou was a compelling writer who tell a story and make you mad as hell, or cry like a baby.
This is an unusual photo of Lou because she isn’t smiling.
I will always remember her smile. She was ornrey and affable.
She was smart and, more importantly, wise from her years not spent along the traditional journalist’s career path. She stood up to bullies and put a comforting arm around the afflicted.
Sadly, her career and life ended far too soon in March 2003 when she died from complications of ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. She was 55.
Buy the book. It’s just $20. And it’s a great read and a good cause.
All proceeds go to a scholarship to help nontraditional students like Lou at UCCS. It’s named in her honor.
To get your copy, call the UCCS Bookstore at 719-255-3247.
Here’s how I remember her:
Lou was such a wonderful person. I miss her.